UDP flooding uses the spanning-tree algorithm to forward packets in a controlled manner. Bridging is enabled on each router interface for the sole purpose of building the spanning tree. The spanning tree prevents loops by stopping a broadcast from being forwarded out an interface on which the broadcast was received. The spanning tree also prevents packet duplication by placing certain interfaces in the blocked state (so that no packets are forwarded) and other interfaces in the forwarding state (so that packets that need to be forwarded are forwarded).
Before you can enable UDP flooding, the router must be running software that supports transparent bridging and bridging must be configured on each interface that is to participate in the flooding. If bridging is not configured for an interface, the interface will receive broadcasts, but the router will not forward those broadcasts and will not use that interface as a destination for sending broadcasts received on a different interface.
When configured for UDP flooding, the router uses the destination address specified by the
broadcast-address command on the output interface to assign a destination address to a flooded UDP datagram. Thus, the destination address might change as the datagram propagates through the network. The source address, however, does not change.
With UDP flooding, both routers shown in the figure below use a spanning-tree to control the network topology for the purpose of forwarding broadcasts. The
protocol command can specify either the
dec keyword (for the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) spanning-tree protocol) or the
ieee keyword (for the IEEE Ethernet protocol). All routers in the network must enable the same spanning-tree protocol. The
spanning-tree command uses the database created by the
protocol command. Only one broadcast packet arrives at each segment, and UDP broadcasts can traverse the network in both directions.
Because bridging is enabled only to build the spanning-tree database, use access lists to prevent the spanning-tree from forwarding non-UDP traffic.
The router configuration specifies a path cost for each interface to determine which interface forwards or blocks packets. The default path cost for Ethernet is 100. Setting the path cost for each interface on router 2 to 50 causes the spanning-tree algorithm to place the interfaces in router 2 in forwarding state. Given the higher path cost (100) for the interfaces in router 1, the interfaces in router 1 are in the blocked state and do not forward the broadcasts. With these interface states, broadcast traffic flows through router 2. If router 2 fails, the spanning-tree algorithm will place the interfaces in router 1 in the forwarding state, and router 1 will forward broadcast traffic.
With one router forwarding broadcast traffic from the server network to the trader networks, you should configure the other router to forward unicast traffic. For that reason, each router enables the ICMP Router Discovery Protocol (IRDP), and each workstation on the trader networks runs the IRDP daemon. On router 1, the
preference keyword of the
ip irdp command sets a higher IRDP preference than does the configuration for router 2, which causes each IRDP daemon to use router 1 as its preferred default gateway for unicast traffic forwarding. Users of those workstations can use the
-rn command to see how the routers are being used.
On the routers, the
minadvertinterval keywords of the
ip irdp command reduce the advertising interval from the default so that the IRDP daemons running on the hosts expect to see advertisements more frequently. With the advertising interval reduced, the workstations will adopt router 2 more quickly if router 1 becomes unavailable. With this configuration, when a router becomes unavailable, IRDP offers a convergence time of less than one minute.
IRDP is preferred over the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) and default gateways for the following reasons:
RIP takes longer to converge.
Configuration of router 1 as the default gateway on each Sun workstation on the trader networks would allow those Sun workstations to send unicast traffic to router 1, but would not provide an alternative route if router 1 becomes unavailable.
The figure below shows how data flows when the network is configured for UDP flooding.
Figure 3. Data Flow with UDP Flooding and IRDP
This topology is broadcast intensive--broadcasts sometimes consume 20 percent of the 10-MB Ethernet bandwidth. However, this is a favorable percentage when compared to the configuration of IP helper addressing, which, in the same network, causes broadcasts to consume up to 50 percent of the 10-MB Ethernet bandwidth.
If the hosts on the trader networks do not support IRDP, Hot Standby Routing Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP), or Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) can be used to select which router will handle unicast traffic. These protocols allow the standby router to take over quickly if the primary router becomes unavailable.
Enable turbo flooding on the routers to increase the performance of UDP flooding.
Turbo flooding increases the amount of processing that is done at interrupt level, which increases the CPU load on the router. Turbo flooding may not be appropriate on routers that are already under high CPU load or that must also perform other CPU-intensive activities.